Rysan Fall is a machinima expert in Second Life. He has been making machinima since February 2008 and has since won awards and accolades for his work. We speak with Rysan Fall about the challenges of creating machinima on Second Life, his continued success, and his proudest project.
Would you mind telling us a bit about yourself and your work with machinima?
Machinima has been very good to me, and I am very grateful for everything it’s given me. I’ve been interviewed countless times, I’ve spoken at many lectures, events and universities. I’ve had the opportunity to work for Tufts University, University of Florida, and the University of Central Missouri. I’ve even been honored with filming the first Virtual College Graduation ceremony for Bryant Stratton College in Second Life featured on FOX National News.
One thing I was really excited about: I was contacted by U2's Principle Management to inform me that my U2inSL video was selected to be played on the big screen at the Glastonbury Festival in the U.K. as the REAL U2 perform their song, "Even Better Than the Real Thing". My visuals went through the approval processes from Linden Labs to me and finally approved by U2's Principle Management. That was really exciting for me.
U2 in SL
I’ve been interviewed for the book, “Machinima: The Art and Practice of Virtual Filmmaking.”
A few of my videos have been seen by a company called How2Connect.com (now called Acute Care Triage), which specializes in providing online therapy and EAP solutions for subscribers. They were in the process of creating their own virtual world at the time, and wanted someone to make their machinima for them. They flew me to California for a week and asked me to become a part of their team, and I accepted. After 4 years I, now edit all of their “Real Life” department videos.
Along with all of this, I do voiceover work, also. I have also done some radio. I used to have a weekly hip hop news segment on an underground hip hop show called “The Fireset” on 90.7 WTCC. I've done voiceover work for CPTV Sports (Connecticut Public Broadcasting). I won an award for best male voice over in an animated film in 2011 at the Los Angeles Media Awards for my role as “Sebastian,” a supercomputer from the future in “Time Travelers Series” Produced by Pooky Amsterdamn and Dr. James Canton.
Like I said machinima has been very good to me...it got me into the Institute for Advanced Media in Hartford, Connecticut; a year long internship at CPTV; I also won an emmy award for one of my productions in 2013 and was nominated for one the year after. I’ve just started working in the creative services department for FOX News in Connecticut.
What inspired you to create machinima?
This initially was intended to be practice for real life film making. When I started I had no idea there was a whole genre of filmmaking dedicated to filming in a virtual environment. But at first I thought that I could pick up some good editing tips using machinima.
Which machinima project are you most proud of?
I guess the one machinima I’m most proud of would be the “Invisible City”. Its an older video, a contest entry that dealt with the topic of homelessness. The submissions were shown live during a simul broadcast in Australia. I am proud of it because it came first place in the machinima competition and second place in the real life film competition. It was a great surprise because I kinda had to put it together last minute and I felt the quality wasn't as good as it could've been. I don't usually enter contests but I wanted to be involved with this one because of seriousness of the topic.(Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?
The Invisible City
What do you enjoy most about creating machinima in Second Life?
Creating films in Second Life is enjoyable because it gives the filmmaker the opportunity to make great special effects easily and inexpensively. I did mostly customer work in Second Life, so another enjoyable aspect of it for me was that I got to meet people from many different places around the world.
What has been the weirdest thing to happen to you while recording a machinima video?
Well, there's been so many strange instances during this amazing journey of second life machinima. But I guess the one of the weirdest times is when I got paid in advance for a video and the customer just disappeared when the time came to start filming. Still don't know what happened to them.
What is the most challenging aspect of creating machinima on SL?
In Second Life, the most challenging aspect is dealing with the limitation of the animations available. Its getting better. But when I when I stated, there wasn't a lot of good animations. People who have the money will pay to have custom animations.
What is your favorite type of machinima project that you like to work on?
I like working on projects that allow me to be creative as possible. There was a period of time where I did mostly wedding videos. Although I do appreciate my wedding customers very much, the weddings didn't allow me to really get creative due to the fact they all followed the same format. The projects I like doing the most, are my own personal projects. Because I don't have any limits or have to answer to anyone when doing them.
What would you like to say to anybody who wants to create their own machinima movies?
I would tell the to take advantage of the great opportunity to able to do anything their minds come up with. The only thing that limits them is their imagination.
Checkout Rysan Fall’s videos on Youtube.